Friday, April 15, 2005

Weekly BlogScan: We'll Be Taxing Your Credulity Next

April 15th is no longer the dreaded date when U.S. income tax filers line up at the post office at ten of midnight—more and more of us file a request for extension to file in August, or eFile early to get our refunds sooner, or call and give our data and credit card number by telephone. Tax programs take even the remnant stings out of the vastly-simpler process of filing. The prospect of permanently-lowered tax rates looms on the horizon.

Lesbian Money stamped on IRS envelope
      Photo courtesy Mitch McCabe.

And I have a great future as a writer of fairy tales!

Out in the blogosphere, somewhat closer to reality, Mitchissimus proposes some liberal revenge at tax time, and says he'll let us know if he gets audited. Note: You don't have to be a lesbian to participate, but one commenter asks, "What if the person who opens your tax return is a lesbian?" Stuart Levine, on the other hand, is taking a serious look at the tax consequences of the Bankruptcy Reform Act. Looks like if you're a heavy tax-hitter with unresolved tax debts in 2001 and prior, your best hope is that the bill gets delayed in Congress. And while we're being serious, check out Jeff Cornwell of The Entreprenurial Mind as he suggests that a marginal tax rate reduction of just one percent would increase small business startups by both single and married filers.

At Phil's Occasional Musings, Phil echoes the visceral reactions of many Americans with his piece titled I hate tax time—though I'm not sure Governor Pataki has as much to do with taxes as Phil assumes. Old Man William at reasonablenut suggests doing something about it: bury the government in paper. Don't eFile, he says, send that inch-thick ream of forms and documentation off to the IRS. Make 'em work for your money! In retaliation, warns Boots and Sabers Owen, at least one state is prepared to list your name and address on a Website of Shame if you duck your tax payments.

People are doing other things on April 15th. Aaron's Rantblog has named this B.A.G. Day. That's short for Buy A Gun, folks; 2005 is the third year Aaron has recommended we all invest our tax refunds in sidearms and ammo. Besides that, depending on which state you live in, James Schott reminds us, Tax Freedom Day is (almost) here! For most states, the day falls on or around Aprils 15th. If you live in Connecticut, though, you'll have nearly a month more to wait. On the other hand, if you live in Alaska, income after April 2nd was (statistically speaking) all yours.

And, hey, Canadians also grouse about taxes! (Though their tax time seems to fall in March.) Maria of Adventures in Downtown Toronto gripes that ING Direct doesn't send her notice until a scant two weeks before the filing date, so she "has" to postpone doing her taxes until the last minute. (Just think of it as a free excuse, Maria!) The genetic mishap who writes my not so fascinating life gripes about being paid as if "self-employed," with lots of tax and unemployment implications. Different date, same irate feelings.

Speaking of which, it's not midnight yet in California—I still have time to mail my return. Now, where did I put that 1099 form?
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